Sojournal is an activity-based journal concept for people with creative interests, designed to facilitate deeper and more mindful cultural experiences for those traveling abroad.
How might we support deeper cultural engagement among those living abroad for extended periods of time?
10 weeks, presented December 2022
1 Design Strategist
1 UX Designer
1 Product Designer (me)
1 Research Lead
Paper + Pencil
Scissors, glue, etc.

Envisioning the future
of meal logging.

What is keeping advanced pattern detection from fixing our lives? It's those unregulated gut flora. How do we figure out what they're up to? Perfect meal logging is how – here's what it might look like based on our research based design process!

Context clues

Fox Tracks populates meal logs using real-time inputs and contextual data. Fox Tracks allows for retrospective edits to meal logs, enhancing its learning model with each update.

Confidence score system

Each meal log in Fox Tracks comes with a confidence score, a smart indicator of the log's accuracy.

The power of patterns

The average person repeats a total of 30 different meals. After 2 weeks of meal logging, sufficient data would be present to automate meal logging based on context and one-touch logging.

The user is in control

The user decides when a log is accurate enough.

Advanced pattern detection and context clues.

Meal Logging

Users have the option of logging food through audio, photo and timestamps. Then, edit them later on mobile.

One-touch logging derives statistically probable data using context clues and pattern recognition.



Going somewhere?

This was a 10-week graduate level design project based on the theme of “migration.” We each were interested in the concept of digital nomadism; that is, living and working remotely for an extended period of time in a foreign country.

My Contribution
  • Designed and constructed all physical prototypes used in this project.
  • Drew the storyboard describing the Sojournal concept and created a process flow describing how the business would work.
  • Collaborated with team members on all other aspects of the project, including defining the visual style, conducting and transcribing interviews, and simplifying and refining the final product.



What are the realities of working remotely from a developing country?

Problem Definition

Through desk research we learned:

  • Travel and creativity are intertwined and have long and differentiated histories across different cultures.
  • There are negative histories and perceptions associated with travel and its resulting creative outputs.
  • Mindful travel abroad is rising in popularity. A thoughtful and genuine glimpse into a culture is something more travelers are interested in.
User Problem:
Sojourners abroad, craving cultural immersion and creative expression, lack tailored support for mindful engagement. Existing solutions fail to foster genuine exchange, hindering meaningful connections for travelers and exerting a negative impact on locals.

Through exploratory interviews with various types of travelers, from digital nomads to study-abroad students (5 total participants), we found that:

  • Locally-versed connections are instrumental to cultural immersion.
  • Outward displays of one’s interests led to many of the most meaningful experiences our research participants had abroad.



Gaining confidence.

Idea Generation

We wanted to think beyond the obvious, so we independently generated 30 ideas. At the beginning our ideas were similar, but towards the end of our independent lists we were coming up with some really creative things. The four main categories are highlighted below.

During an in person session, we talked through each idea and put the similar ones next to each other. By the end four themes had emerged.

1. "Journals" ideas based around journaling in foreign countries; 2. "Maps" ideas involving discovery through a map metaphor; 3. "Places" ideas revolving around a physical location; 4. "Social" ideas centered around some orchestrated interaction between people.

The storyboard I drew outlining the concept of a physical / digital hybrid travel journal. After a round of dot voting by the cohort and faculty as well as group discussion, Sojournal won out.



Testing and Validation

Lofi Mockups

Having tested our prompt cards earlier we were curious to expand on the “KIT” concept from our storyboard. The evening before a designated usability testing day at the studio I created a mockup journal/accessory holder using an Amazon box.

What we learned

Through usability testing we learned:

  • We got the size right – Participants said they could envision themselves carrying the kit as though it were a textbook or storing it in a bag. One said that if it were any thicker, they would not want it.
  • External and internal storage seen as a plus – Two participants commented on having the option to show their stationary off.
  • To add a shoulder strap – During testing, we observed participants holding the prototype in their hands while completing activities. While no one mentioned it explicitly, it was evident the addition of a shoulder strap to free up the user's hands would be a welcome improvement.


Final Design


Sojournal offers versatility of use across two primary mediums: the Sojournal app and the physical journal kit. The use of these features is intended to be adaptable to sojourners' needs and preferences. For instance, with limited wifi access, a sojourner may prefer the physical prompt cards (vs. digital). On a cramped metropolitan train, the app may provide an efficient way to plan the next steps in their journey.

Current color options and inner journal cover designs. (from final spec)
Physical prompt cards are available for various cities specialized for specific timeframes.

The Sojournal app currently includes the following: Onboarding, Digital prompt cards (which can be pinned), Filtering options (activity type, location, duration), Local recommendations (events, venues), Sojournal community creations (for inspiration)
A schematic of the final high fidelity prototype.
Sojournal is a digital and analog activity journal concept that offers versatility in the mindful collection of visual inspiration and future memories, no matter the environment



Results + Next Steps


My team presented the final Sojournal concept at a public showcase at the MHCI+D studio in Seattle, WA attended by industry professionals. Having a physical prototype at the public showcase made a huge impact and made it difficult to ignore the design’s potential.

  • It quickly communicated our design, enabling for the collection of valuable feedback from the many accomplished guests that attended our showcase.
  • Nearly everyone who walked up to our booth wanted to pick up and handle the kit prototype.
  • Attendees who journaled regularly told us they wanted one.
Next Steps

Going forward, I would like to:

  • Refine the Sojournal prompt app and conduct additional usability testing.
  • Consider kit redesign based on feedback gathered at showcase.
  • Test airports as point of sale.